Letters to the Editor: June 13 – 19, 2019
Disturbed by News-Press’ Misleading Election Story
We were appalled to see the misleading headline and editorial in this week’s Falls Church News-Press referring to “dark money” in the campaign for Commonwealth’s Attorney. We were also extremely disturbed by the unfair and unprofessional timing of this story, four days before the primary election, meaning that no time was given to rebut this distorted, biased and inaccurate “information.”
George Soros is a respected American philanthropist and Holocaust survivor whose funding has saved and improved millions of lives around the world. He is slandered by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists in Europe and the Republican Party here. We are stunned that the News-Press used this kind of rhetoric about someone who uses his money to fight poverty and injustice. If your point is that “outside” money is unacceptable — something that you have not previously complained about vis-à-vis any other candidate over the years — then you need to account for the fact that so many local current and former elected officials, organizations and voters have supported the candidate you attacked so unfairly. Surely they have not fallen under the spell of some “dark” influencer.
We expect the News-Press to adhere to ethical standards. You fell far short and did a terrible disservice both to the candidate and voters.
Peg Willingham, Fran Callanan, Pete Davis, Liz Hume, Heather Pickens Keppler
The Editor replies — The News-Press strives to act in the interests of its public and not of any candidate or faction. When the campaign financing report was made public last week, and it showed $583,237 contribution to a single candidate on the ballot in Falls Church, it was our duty to call that out to our readers, as well as to the fact the money was not reported attributable to a person, but a PAC. The term, “Dark Money” means to us cases where the public is kept in the dark about the source of a contribution. Our use of the term involved no intention that it reflect in any manner on the donor, per se. But for the Washington Post, which also reported in a major way on this development at the same time we did, the source of the money being billionaire George Soros would not have been public, but only the name of a PAC. The timing of our coverage was due to the timing of the release of the report, with no intent to favor any candidate, but only to serve the right of our readership to know.
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